Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Jay W. Nielsen, MDJay W. Nielsen, MD

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the number two cause of missed work after back pain in the American worker. The cause of CTS is that repetitive use of the forearm and wrist as with Tennis Elbow tears the ligaments over the back of the wrist. The wrist is an arch of bones in two rows that create a tunnel through which pass the tendons, arteries, nerves and veins to the hand in order of compressibility.

The most sensitive structure in the arch is the median nerve supplying the index through ring fingers. As this arcade collapses, the patient starts to suffer numbness and tingling at night, shooting pains in the hand and forearm, minor hand swelling and finally weakness and muscle loss as the nerves are permanently ruined.

Remember that the back of the wrist is injured as proven by many autopsy studies. The surgeon goes in and cuts the only good tendon on the front of the wrist so the bones are equally weak front and back to relieve the pressure! He even warns you will be weaker after surgery. No surprise the surgery has a high failure rate. Injections into the ligaments on the back of the wrist can rebuild the damage and correct the problem in most cases.

Early management is superior to waiting until the muscles are ruined. The same wear and tear that wears the elbow and wrist can break down the delicate ligaments stabilizing the joints in the fingers and especially the thumb. Years of continued use wears the cartilage in these joints causing pain and weakness. Prolotherapy can create remarkable relief in even badly worn joints.

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